Canada has a rich history of peace-related activism, research, and global leadership. But a period of defunding and fragmentation has left the Canadian peace community spread thin. Constraints on resources and volunteer time mean that many organizations are essentially run by one or two people; the same few people do everything; and organizations often operate in silos, speaking past each other. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of these challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more thoughtful, multidisciplinary, and inclusive policies. Among many impacts, it has shown the limits of security-oriented responses to crises; increased the role of technology in our lives and raised new concerns about surveillance; and exacerbated ongoing conflicts and disrupted peacebuilding efforts. In the discussions on how to “build back better,” peace researchers and practitioners should have seats at these tables. The Canadian Peace Commons is an ideal platform to animate these discussions and ensure a Canadian contextual understanding.
What is it?
The Canadian Peace Commons is a network of networks – one that is centrally directed in its overall purpose, but self-organizing and member-driven.
Our goal is to bring together people, conversations, and resources to strengthen the peace community across Canada. Through an innovative platform, we aim to better connect peace researchers and practitioners to foster dialogue, increase research output, and provide policy recommendations and ideas for more just solutions to global and domestic challenges. The Canadian Peace Commons has incredible potential to become a vibrant and sustainable network hub, where both experts and junior scholars, long-standing and developing organizations, and anyone engaged in peace work can come to convene, catalyze, and amplify this work. Simply, there is no other initiative like it in Canada.
The Canadian Peace Commons is made possible with the generous support of our co-founding partners:
What will it do?
Our first goal will be to collaboratively build a “Peace Forum” event to counter and run in parallel to the Security Forum that occurs annually in Halifax.
The Canadian Peace Commons platform will host member and organization directories, working groups, shared event calendars, discussion forums and chats, newsletters and activity digests, resource libraries, virtual bulletin boards, network visualizations, and more.
Members will be able to contribute to, lead on, and benefit from all of these tools!